Good Question...


On...foreknowledge


On Thu, 13 Jul 1995 XXX wrote:

question:

I am currently debating with some friends about "Gods foreknowledge and its implication re mans choice". My reflections so far have led me to think that in giving man free choice then somehow God doesn't allow Himself to know ahead of time what each person is going to do.

If He did know exactly, unequivocally what choice each person would make from "the beginning of time" then our lives would be predestined, without choice. I don't think that makes God less powerful, rather it illustrates how much privilege He gave man. I do believe though that because of God's intimate and thorough knowledge of each person that He must know what each person is likely to do in each situation.

In closing let me say that while my views are strong, I am neither adamant nor obstinate and would welcome dialogue and correction or affirmation.


I have postponed answering you, because I thought I was going to be able to get to this issue sooner...but I have not been able to...

instead, let me make a remark or too and point you to the book I AM READING on this subject (very good actually):

1. the books="God, Foreknowledge, and Freedom" ed. by John Martin Fischer, Stanford Series in Philosophy (1989). [It has entries by both believers and non-believers, such as Platinga, Alston, Hasker.]

2. I have never 'intuited' the problem with the proposition: "God knows with certainty what I will freely choose in the future". There is noting logically flawed in this (prima facie). The book attempts to recast this in a number of forms MANY of which, DO produce invalid chains of propositions...

3. I personally have a HUGE epistemological problem with discussion on such an 'interface' between created reality and God...we are on ONE side of this 'interface between worlds' LOOKING THRU IT...and we don't have a THIRD PLACE TO STAND from which to inspect the interface...in other words, we cannot 'triangulate' from just our one point! Every vantage point we have inside this 'created, derivative bubble' is bounded by the interface...as such we can see through it to God, but cannot see IT at all...a weak analogy would be daylight vision through air... I don't 'see' the air when I look at you, I see THRU the air...i can walk around the yard looking at the center, but I never see the air--i always see THRU it to the other side...the analogy breaks down because I can 'capture' air and triangulate on it with instrumentation, but this doesn't really affect my point or illustration.]

4. BTW, this 'elusive character of the interface' I find in MOST other human/divine 'interface problems' MOST NOTABLY the 'sovereignty/freedom' discussions...

5. I also feel generally uneasy about restricting God's knowledge to just human-based analogies...He has told us that he DOES 'know' like we do, but not that His knowledge is SIMPLY that kind...i guess I get a little agnostic in some of these beyond-theology discussions (in spite of how fun they can be!)

6. Lastly, many of the incompatabilist arguments presuppose harsh views of causality, which I do NOT hold to...i make this very clear in my Thinktank pieces...

hope this gets you started....

Alive in Him,
glenn


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